Snuff is brilliant. The wit continues, old friends are revisited but new ones are met along the way. The events are gripping and the characters are as fully interesting as when first introduced and they continue to make their way through their lives. Mister Vimes is getting older and age is beginning temper his temper but he still has to fight and use his *
demons to wield the law and fight the darkness.
The only complaint would be Willikins who has grown comfortable in Sam's presence and now speaks and acts like the boy off the streets we're constantly reminded he is and has dropped a lot of the butlers formality. But once the change is accepted he goes on to be ever more interesting and gets his pay-off at the close.
What makes these books special is that every character plot and setting is seen as the full sum of the ideas and viewpoints that make it up and the book continues, as Pterry is want, to explore every aspect of everything so that it feels like we're reading something more fundamental than something designed to entertain and be forgotten. Here the setting is the cold watchful exclusiveness of the rural country side and the idea of bringing the law into the place where law is made by those who rule. And just to say, it's not anvilicious
unless the wrongness of slavery and racism is taken as anything less than a fact. The book is assumes such and instead deals with a world that has need to rid it's prejudices.
How religion is portrayed is always interesting to me, and whilst it isn't a huge theme of the book at all it is shown slightly negatively. But I found that I didn't mind because with the pertinacity of so many atheists he's seen straight to the centre of relgion without actually crossing the threshold. The religion he hates is the relgion of 'whitewashed graves' that Jesus hated so much. He says 'Goodness is what you do, not who you pray to' and the Bible says 'But someone will say, You have faith; I have deeds. Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.'
In the end it's only at the conclusion that our views part. We both see a world where right and wrong are innate and universal but whereas he trusts the arbitration of it to good men, I say that no man is good enough. If it was, I think Vimes should have spoiler *